Through all the bad breaks, shithousery, and injuries – that’s 25 straight unbeaten for the Reds. And the “group of death” won with 2 games to spare. Soak it in, folks. It is a special time to be a Red.
Alisson – 7
2nd leg with Atletico on the ropes and had little to do. That’s astonishing.
TAA – 9
Has another fullback had a better first half of football? The two sublime assists are a testament to Trent’s ability to shapeshift a delivery into space. A beautiful marriage of skill and trust in the front line’s ability to find the space.
Matip – 7
So nearly got the assist on that worldie of a ball into Jota. Booked on an unreal tackle. Missed the ocean from the beach. Undulated with all the enormously exaggerated animation we’ve come to love from him. This one had it all.
VVD – 7
Respectfully pocketed Suarez with ease in which we haven’t seen since the 19/20 season. If he nets that 30-yard screamer, I’m likely still trying to find a clean pair of clothes to change into.
Kostas Tsimikas – 8
Maaaaaaaan. No disrespect to my boy, Robbo but Kostas isn’t far from being a legit shout for regular first-team football. Quietly sound defensively, quality going forward, puts in the best corners in all of Europe, tackles people with his face, etc.
Ox – 5
Had some bad turnovers and a few moments where he missed assignments tracking back. But on the whole, much more decisive on the ball and direct going forward. Encouraging performance in a big spot.
Fabinho – 8
Brings calmness and comfort, like a lighthouse off a rocky point. The entire side noticeably moves the ball better, has more retention, has a better shape, and has a bigger bite when it gets physical.
Henderson – 7
Much more comfortable as a true box to box next to Fab. Missed like 3 passes out of a 100. Efficient.
Mane – 8
I thought that was basically a 45-minute testament to his character. Clearly targeted by Atletico and got the living shite lumped out of him. Fouled twice on the buildup for his goal, gets in a shove off the second defender, blasts through a couple more fouls into the box, and tucks away the cross. A mixture of contempt and relief when he was subbed.
Jota – 8
Love a header, doesn’t he? Probably could have, should have, had a hattrick but then again half of the opportunity is knowing where to be to have the chance and he’s ace at that.
Salah – 7
Everything was a half yard from it coming off for him on the night. Absolutely shredded that right side of the defense. Keeps a defense honest because of how massive a threat his pace and change of direction are. And that creates the space and opportunity for the rest of the lads.
Firmino – 6 (’46)
A little over 30 mins before the hammy went. You have to wonder with the number of injuries this year and his age (30) if this is the beginning of the decline. I hate even thinking it.
Thiago – 6 (’59)
Back stroking the ball around like an artist brush on a canvas. Some sloppy moments, but that’s to be expected as he’s eased back in.